The importance of knowing that you’re gonna die

We’re all going to die (unless humans find out the path to immortality), and it terrifies me. Parents, brothers, sisters, your dog, the baker across the street, your classmates and teachers. Everyone will be gone, you included. So why does it make sense to live?

This video from the School of Life says it all:

Why do we live?

The worst scenario I can imagine for my life, is to end up in a hospital bed in my sixties, filled with despair. Because I have spent everyday of my live depending on others, on what they like to see, but never really questioned what my values are.

So I feel like I constantly need to remind myself that death is already here. It’s a process, rather than a sudden event. Whatever I do, whatever I believe, the one thing I can’t have control over is death.

The greatest fear

The funny thing is that we don’t tend to think a lot about death. We invent stories to children, we dream about what we’ll become in the next ten years without considering the possibility that we’ll die due to a plane crash or a poisonous indigestion somewhere in between.

But when it comes to live better, death is a useful reminder.

What if we suppressed the idea of death in our mind?

  • We tend to live more passively. If death doesn’t matter anymore, life doesn’t either. There are no risks anymore. You’re gonna live forever, so one year wasted (or ten or thirty) on internet procrastination is okay.
  • We are more fearful of other unknowns: school pressure, people’s reactions, possible humiliation and shame. So much that a single detail (like failing your maths exam) becomes THE WORST INCIDENT EVER. Then a few days later you’ve already forgotten about it.

Life is fragile and beautiful and meaningful because it’s finite. So don’t ignore death because it’s terrifying, notice it because it makes you feel alive.

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